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Mol Biol Rep. 2014 Jul;41(7):4769-81. doi: 10.1007/s11033-014-3348-6. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

RNAi silencing of the SoxE gene suppresses cell proliferation in silkworm BmN4 cells.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.


The transcription factor SoxE is mainly expressed in the gonad and involved in the regulation of gonad development and sex determination in animals. Here, we used the silkworm ovary-derived BmN4-SID1 cell line to survey the roles of the silkworm SoxE protein (BmSoxE) and predict its candidate binding targets. RNAi-mediated silencing of BmSoxE expression suppressed cell proliferation in BmN4-SID1 cells. A further cell cycle analysis revealed that this inhibition of cell proliferation was largely due to cell cycle arrest in G1 phase when BmSoxE expression was blocked in BmN4-SID1 cells. Genome-wide microarray expression analyses demonstrated that the expression levels of a set of genes were significantly altered following BmSoxE RNAi. More than half of these genes contained conserved binding sites for HMG box domain of the Sox proteins and were predicted to be candidate binding targets for BmSoxE. Importantly, some of the candidate targets may be associated with the effect of BmSoxE on cell proliferation. Several candidate target genes showed gonad-specific expression in silkworm larvae. Taken together, these data demonstrate that BmSoxE is required for cell proliferation in silkworm BmN4-SID1 cells and provide valuable information for further investigations of the molecular control exerted by the BmSoxE protein over cell proliferation and gonad development in the silkworm.

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